Five Smart Moving Tips
Even though moving only a few blocks away might look like a piece of cake, but think again. Both the old and new house needs cleaning, paint touched up, and—EVERYTHING—needs to be picked up, transported, carried into the new house, and set back up. While you might save a bundle on rental truck mileage, the move is just as stressful as a Seattle-to-New York one.
Moral of the story: No matter how far you're moving, it's a bigger project than you might think; it requires planning.
Tip # 1 – If you don't use it, leave it
Packing time is the perfect time to get rid of any items that have somehow accumulated in your home. Look at each item and consider: "Do I use this? Do I need it?" Be honest. If you don't use or need an item:
Donate or give it away. Check with local schools, libraries, and charities to see who will pick up your donations. Sell it. Have a yard sale. Use an online auction Website to sell items.
Throw it away. Start gleaning early if you're limited to a certain amount of trash each week. In some cities you can buy tags for extra containers beyond your weekly allotment. Take a load to the city dump (this is usually for a fee).
Tip # 2 – Consider hiring help
Sometimes it's best to leave the job to those who do it best: a professional moving company. If you can afford it, hire someone for both ends of your move. Start with a cleaning service. This will save you several hours' work.
If you don't feel comfortable driving a rental van or simply lack the time, hire a moving company. Interview and get bids from several moving companies, but your best bet is always to get recommendations from friends and family.
Tip # 3 – Call in friends and family
It is always wise and useful to ask friends, family, neighbors, etc for help. You can call in for a few favors:
- Ask a few people over one evening to help pack boxes.
- Bribe them with dinner.
- Call a few friends to help retouch paint one Saturday.
- On the day of the big move, call lots of people to help. Remember, "many hands make light work."
- Ask someone to watch the kids and/or pets during moving day.
Tip # 4 – Order plenty of packing supplies
Remember not to hold back on packing materials. Be sure to have plenty of moving boxes, tape guns, tape, marking pens, packing paper, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts available. Your volunteers will be glad to take what you don't use.
Tip # 5 – Plan ahead for food, drink, and other essentials
Keep both your hired professionals and volunteers happy and well-fueled.
Buy plenty of paper cups and plates, plastic utensils, soft drinks, and snacks prior to moving day.
Breakfast. If your crew is showing up at your house first thing in the morning, coordinate with a local bakery or deli to cater a tray of food.
Lunch or dinner. Think of food that is fast, filling, and easy to eat when all the tables and tableware are packed away
(sandwiches, fried chicken, or pizza).
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